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Access to justice and the rule of law.

Lucy, W. (2020) 'Access to justice and the rule of law.', Oxford journal of legal studies., 40 (2). pp. 377-402.


This article examines the often-affirmed link between access to justice (AtoJ) and the rule of law. Section 2 offers an account of what we mean by AtoJ, arguing that the most plausible account of that idea has three components. Section 3 examines the rule of law. The article distinguishes between the concept and conceptions of the rule of law and argues that there is a plausible and widely shared concept of the rule of law. It shows that, on that core sense of the rule of law, there are connections, some more direct than others, between the rule of law and AtoJ. Section 4 argues that other alleged connections between the rule of law and AtoJ are not made out. The article shows that we should be circumspect about the assumed link between AtoJ and the rule of law, since it is almost always too glibly and quickly asserted.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Oxford journal of legal studies following peer review. The version of record Lucy, W (2020). Access to Justice and the Rule of Law. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 40(2): 377-402 is available online at:
Date accepted:16 January 2020
Date deposited:07 May 2020
Date of first online publication:08 May 2020
Date first made open access:08 May 2022

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